Okay you guys – I admit, part of the reason I was so behind on recaps was because this season has been kind of, well, boring. Despite everything going for it, it’s just been hard to muster the interest, you know? So imagine my relief when we finally got an episode where things actually happened. It’s not the best AHS episode ever, but it is the best one this season so far.
Picking up where we left off, Fiona is offering Marie a cup of tea (and whiskey) and sympathy, offering her shelter from the witch hunters. It’s not clear if Marie has turned to Fiona because she really has nowhere else to go or just because she truly does recognize Fiona as an equal. (I’m hoping for the former – way more fun.) Either way, that night as she sleeps Marie gets a visit from the creepy as all hell Papa Legba who is the source of her immortality. (Thank you Voodoo Gods for finally bringing a scary character into a show that’s supposed to be about horror.) He tells her tonight is the night for her to pay her due, slaughter of everyone she currently knows and cares about be damned. To pay the price, Marie sneaks into the newborn ward in a hospital and selects an infant. Silly Marie – don’t you know babies are tagged so you can’t steal them from the hospital? Silly police who are here to stop her – Marie gets all magic-y and forces the two cops to kill themselves as she walks off into the night with the child.
Strange thing? Still hot.
The next morning, Cordelia angsts over the realization that Hank is the one who went all Columbine on Marie and her hair salon. Marie confesses that she hired Hank to kill the witches, so she’s got a bit of culpability here as well. “You were my sworn enemies!” she reminds them. Either way, Fiona reminds them, witch hunters don’t act alone.
Upstairs, Misty is singing to herself and practicing her Stevie Nicks-style shall turns. Fiona butters her up, though Misty is skeptical about Fiona’s newfound desire to share power with her as the potential new Supreme. To show exactly how magnanimous she can be, Fiona introduces Misty to her “old Friend, the White Witch.” Who is, yes, Stevie Nicks. For realz. Misty promptly faints upon meeting her. “You owe me five bucks,” Fiona tells Stevie. “I told you she was going to do that.”
Later, recovered from her vapors, Misty and the rest of the witches listen to Stevie perform Rhiannon on the grand piano and geek out along with Ryan Murphy behind the camera for getting Stevie on the show. Madison kvetches that she’s a big Eminem fan, so when does he play? “Marshall?” Fiona asks. “You’re not his type.” As she finishes, Stevie gives Misty her shawl and wishes her luck on the Seven Wonders test that she’ll soon have to pass.
Upstairs, the younger girls emote over why it is that Misty is suddenly supposed to be the next Supreme (ATTN: Writers – finish these conversations quicker. We don’t need to have this same scene in every episode.) and try to out-witch each other. Meanwhile, the older witches pool what they’ve been able to learn about Delphi Trust, the front company for the witch hunters. Turns out the family dates back to Old Salem and has been hunting witches since the colonial times. Fiona suggests a sideways attack by cursing their money supply and bringing them down financially, rather than coming at them physically. Cordelia wants to help with the spells, but Fiona says she is tainted and can’t help anyone due to her association with Hank. Marie and Fiona cast a spell involving a maze, herbs, mice and a lot of traps as, elsewhere, the SEC and the FBI begins to close in suddenly on Delphi.
The spell, however, takes a lot out of Fiona as she collapses. While Marie tries to help her restore her strength, Fiona asks Marie for her secret for staying young and healthy. Marie reveals that she sold her soul to Papa Legba back in the 1830s. “I thought I was the shit back then,” Marie says. Having just given birth to her first child, she didn’t accept the idea of death until one night when Papa Legba came to her and offered her eternal life in exchange for a price. Thinking she was just going to have to get occasionally sexy with him, she agreed without understanding what he wanted was a pure soul, which meant giving up her newborn child and then one child each year thereafter. File under “Devil, deals with.”
On the streets, Madison and Misty have joined the tail end of a New Orleans jazz funeral procession. Because that’s what you do when you’re young, powerful, and really enjoy eating grilled chicken on a stick, and when your show runners realize that you’ve done almost an entire season and not yet had this iconic piece of the city in a scene. Madison points out that Misty is about to be showered with gifts as the new Supreme and that everyone, even Stevie, was likely just playing her as the new power on the scene. As the funeral makes its way into the cemetery, Misty enchants two gravediggers at Madison’s request. Madison wants to show Misty that she is just as powerful as Misty is and to do that, she resurrects the man about to be buried. Confused, the man stumbles out of his coffin. Madison convinces Misty to drop the shall that Stevie gave her into the coffin as a way of proving that she isn’t enslaved to anyone else as the new Supreme. Silly Misty does exactly this, turning her back to Madison just long enough for Madison to conk her on the head, drop her into the coffin, steal back the shall, and send the gravediggers back to their work, entombing Misty into a grave. “Stupid bitch,” Madison smirks as she dances away to the tune of the jazz band.
Now, now… more just like naive.
Nan and Zoe have gone to the hospital to visit Luke only to be told that Luke has died. Nan takes the news hard and insists on seeing Luke’s mother, suspecting her part in his death. The two come to Luke’s house, planning to find Luke’s body and bring him to Misty to resurrect him. Mother tells them that she’s had Luke’s body cremated, producing the urn. (Luke only died, like, yesterday. That’s some quick service crematory service I must say.) Nan is…displeased and forces Mother to her knees. Zoe tries to intervene, but Nan sends her flying into the next room. Nan grabs a bottle of bleach and puts it into Mothers hands. “You have to be cleansed,” she tells Mother and magically forces her to start chugging the bleach.
In the conservatory, Mrytle is playing a theremin despite Cordelia’s attempts to angst herself into an early grave. “Don’t be a hater, dear,” Mrytle tells her when Cordelia asks her to stop making that god-awful creepy noise. Recognizing how defeated Cordelia feels, Myrtle suggests that maybe she should leave the coven and seek out a new life. “Your salad dressing is absolutely magical, maybe you could bottle it?” she suggests.
Fiona, mindful of Marie’s advice that Papa Legba comes to those who are desperate enough for him, prays for his attention in her room. Her devotion (and a few lines of coke) are apparently enough for him to show up out of the blue, mostly invited, like a creepy Adele. Fiona gets down to brass tacks – she doesn’t want to die and is willing to do what it takes to stay alive eternally healthy. Papa Legba says he’ll need her soul and one night a year she needs to perform a service for him, for example “could you cripple your child?” he asks. “Today?” Fiona responds. “Absolutely.” (Comedy!) But seriously, Fiona will do anything. It deal is struck and Papa moves in to seal it with a kiss, but pulls back at the last minute. The deal is off, he tells her. “You have no soul.” Whaaaaaaaa? Well, the Axeman, helpful spirit that he is, appears and points out that all they need to do is find the next Supreme and take her down. “Let’s just kill them all,” Fiona vamps.
Thank you, creepy voodoo man, for finally giving me something in this show to not want to think about when I'm falling asleep. Aside from that enema thing, that is.
The next day, Nan can hear the thoughts of the baby that Marie stole. Trying to rescue it, she is stopped by Marie and Fiona. Despite needing the sacrifice, Marie has genuinely come to see the baby as being something like her own. Seeing a two-birds-one-stone problem here between Papa needing a pure soul for Marie and Nan who is suddenly a liability, it’s to the tub where they unceremonially hold Nan’s head under as she struggles to survive. “Oh come on, you’re not the first witch to be drowned,” Fiona tells her because misery loves company? Either way, Papa isn’t thrilled about Nan’s innocence. “She’s innocent. Mostly,” Fiona insists. “She killed the neighbor, but the bitch had it coming.” The argument is apparently persuasive as Nan’s spirit emerges and accepts Papa’s offer to take her to the other side. “Anywhere is better than here,” Nan says and goes with him.
Later, because we can’t just use Stevie Nicks once, Fiona listens to Stevie play the piano in the parlor, finally letting some of the horror that she’s just been complacent in seep in. And yes, the final scene is total emotion bait, but damn if it’s not beautifully shot and damn is Jessica Lange doesn’t sell all the emotional exhaustion that Fiona, a woman who would like to do the right thing but ultimately is always drawn in by her own dark impulses, is dealing with.